I took advantage of a “free” hour, some merciful cloud cover, and an empty stomach yesterday afternoon to sample what Australia and Italy had to offer at Epcot's 2017 Food & Wine Festival. Let's cover Australia first…
(Don't mind the coconut rum spiked Dole Whip….)
- Grilled Sweet and Spicy Bush Berry Shrimp with Pineapple, Pepper, Onion, and Snap Peas ($5.25) (Gluten Free)
This was one of those dishes that was very tasty, but I don't have much to say about it because it wasn't really anything that different in the end. I'd order it again in a heartbeat if I was at Epcot with a taste for it – but it basically tasted like really good (ducks for cover) Chinese food. Nicely seasoned shrimp with pineapple and veggies. End of story. But don't worry because Australia is about to make up for it with….
- Grilled Lamb T-Bone with Mint Pesto and Potato Crunchies ($7.50) (Gluten Free)
You guys look how UGLY this is. A fatty little piece of meat covered in green sludge. A delicious, lick the cardboard container clean, fatty little piece of meat covered in minty, delicious, swan dive into me green sludge. EAT THIS. I beg you. If you haven't had mint pesto – and I actually don't think I had before now – you need it in your life. I want to mass produce it and bathe in it. Perhaps in part because I'm just not all that familiar with Australian food (outside of Vegemite and pavlova), it tasted Moroccan or otherwise Middle Eastern to me. It refused to pose for a pretty picture but made up for it 1,000 times over by easily jumping into my top 5 at the Food & Wine Festival this year. It was perfect and I cannot wait to eat it again.
- Lamington – Yellow Cake Dipped in Chocolate and Shredded Coconut ($3.25) (Vegetarian)
This is one of those rare moments when it's okay to use the word moist. Because this is some damned good yellow cake dipped in some damned good chocolate sauce and coconut. Is it going to win prizes for inventiveness? Probably not. But it's apparently classically Australian and if you're in the mood for a perfect little piece of chocolate and coconut covered cake you should eat this, like yesterday. It will cure what ails you.